The son of a dead Italian nobleman and a wealthy American woman forgets the disappointment of finding he has no talent for being a painter by succumbing to the sexual advances of an amoral model who believes in indiscriminate love affairs.
Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) gains an audience with Queen Elizabeth I (Bette Davis) and soon wins her over to his way of thinking. He wants ships to sail and make a name for England. A young ward of the court, Beth Throgmorton (Dame Joan Collins), is strongly attracted to Raleigh and returns the attraction. But soon the Queen shows her desires and he bends in order to achieve his goal of ships. But still, he loves Beth.Written by
A belated follow-up to the similar PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX, this sees Bette Davis once more donning the oddly-shaped wig in order to play Elizabeth I, this time at a later stage in her life. THE VIRGIN QUEEN explores Elizabeth's relationship with charming courtier Walter Raleigh, here desperately trying to finance an expedition to the New World.
All of the elements for a fun, non-stuffy costume romp are here: splendid and picturesque locales, colourful costumes, heads on the block, and all manner of court intrigue. Enjoyment of the story is increased with some expertly-staged sword fights alongside the presence of British actor Richard Todd as Raleigh; he certainly cuts a fine swathe through the story as the dashing adventurer and makes the film his own.
Davis remains delightfully waspish, frequently chewing the scenery with an undisguised relish when she can get away with it. An impossibly young Joan Collins plays Mistress Throgmorton, recipient of Raleigh's affections outside of the queen, making for one of the most bizarre love triangles put on film. History buffs will be in their element.
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